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Mideast specialist is new Phl deputy consul general in HK

02 November 2018

By Vir B. Lumicao

An old Philippine hand in the Middle East, Germinia Aguilar-Usudan, has been named as the country’s new deputy consul general in Hong Kong.

The 51-year-old Usudan arrived in the city on Oct 17 and reported for work at the Consulate the following day. She has taken over from Consul Roderico Atienza, who is due to end his tour of duty in January.

“I am happy to be in Hong Kong, First World siya in Asia. I look forward to spending six years in Hong Kong,” DCG Usudan said.

The new deputy head at the Consulate told the SUN in an interview that she is a Bicolana who became a Muslim years after marrying her Maranaw husband, Yusuf Usudan, who also worked at the Department of Foreign Affairs but is now retired.

DCG Usudan said she is confident the experience she acquired in her many years in the Middle East will help her serve the Consulate well.

Consul Atienza has welcomed DCG Germi’s arrival, saying “that means we’ve expanded the officer complement in Hong Kong.”

DCG Usudan has served with the DFA for the past 30 years. Before coming here, she was the director of the DFA’s Office of Middle East and African Affairs with focus on the Gulf States.

Her last Middle East posting was a four-year stint in the Saudi commercial capital Jeddah, where she was moved from the embassy in the capital, Riyadh.

She joined the DFA right after graduating from the University of the Philippines in Diliman with an economics degree in 1988. She took the Foreign Service Officers’ Exam in 1996, while studying law at the University of Santo Tomas. She finished law in 1998 and passed the Bar the next year.

“Ang una kong posting ay Abu Dhabi, tapos na-transfer ako sa Riyadh,” DCG Usudan said.

After her recall to Manila, she was posted in Jakarta. “Para maiba naman, kasi parang nata-typecast na ako sa Middle East, so nag-Jakarta ako.”

But two years later, she was again moved to the Middle East, when a Muslim officer was needed in the Saudi city of Jeddah. She spent the last four years of her stay there.

She said that back in the Home Office, she requested for an Asian posting to be closer to her ailing mother. Sadly, her mom passed away in May, before she could be posted in Hong Kong, her destination of choice.

DCG Usudan noted that there are many Filipinos in Hong Kong who look happier than in other posts she had been to, and the Filipino community seems very active in looking for projects that will help the workers.

She said she will be joined in Hong Kong by her two children, Ameerah, 15, who is in grade 9; and Amiruddin, 13, in grade 7, when their classes end in March next year.


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